• Medicaid vs. private plans

    Medicaid is not bad for health. I’ll come back to that point later today. For the moment, see how it matches up against private plans on child vaccinations:

    After years of steady progress, the percentage of 2 year olds in private health plans being immunized dropped last year, according to a report released today by an industry watchdog group [the National Committee on Quality Assurance]. […]

    The study, which examined quality data from more than 1,000 health plans that cover a total of 118 million Americans, found that vaccination rates increased in children who were in Medicaid health plans. Medicaid is the state-federal program that covers low-income Americans. Despite the increase, vaccination rates last year were still mostly higher among children in private health plans than Medicaid.

    That’s from Phil Galewitz of Kaiser Health News. One can read it different ways. Immunization is higher for the privately insured. But the trend is better for Medicaid. A full analysis would control for the differences in population covered by the two insurance types as well as self-selection into plans.

    The NCQA report is titled “The State of Health Care Quality.” There’s lots more in it. Someone could make a series of blog posts on it.

    • I wonder if there is a correlation between the Anti-vaccination movement and private insurance owners and wealth. That is, wealthy folks are more likely to have private insurance than medicaid. Wealthy folks are also more likely to be aware of the Anti-vaccination information, and to opt out of vaccination.

      It seems to me there are other forces that may be contributing to the rise or fall of vaccination rates.

    • I wonder how you would control for differences in population, since Medicaid recipients are by definition poor, and the privately insured almost as necessarily are not. Most assuredly, the vaccine crazy is a phenomenon of the middle and upper classes. How much of the divergence is explained by middle class imbeciles choosing not to vaccinate their kids?